Kitchen renovation budget - How much is too much?

I am looking to renovate my kitchen. My house was recently assessed at about $400 000. I thought around $30-40 000 would get me a very nice kitchen. I read somewhere that you should spend about 10% of your home’s value on the kitchen.

I have had a couple quotes for the renovation and they’re estimating about $80-100 000. Now, that includes more structural work than I had thought about (to remove a column for a more ‘open concept’ and then adding a new beam), but COME ON!

Is this reasonable? I have also read that $1 invested in a good kitchen reno results in about $1.15 in increase in resale. Should I spend 1/4 of my home’s value in a new kitchen? (to be fair, this also involves new floors for most of the first floor to match the older hardwood and new ceilings to match the new ceiling in the kitchen).

I think the return on investment is an average. It’s entirely possible to put in more than it would ever return. Unless you’re planning to sell soon, I would suggest that you get what you’ll enjoy and not worry about the “investment.”

As to how much to spend, I can’t help you there. We did our own remodel, going down to the studs and removing a couple of walls, and for under $20K we did the kitchen, dining room, family room, living room, and hallway, plus insulating the attic. The only thing we contracted for was installing the carpet. I have no idea how much it would have cost to have it done, but we couldn’t have afforded it…

I don’t know how big your kitchen is, but we did a 12X 12 kitchen with pre-made but relatively high end cabinets (solid wood doors, plywood with veneer vs particle board with woodgrain contact paper)including a pantry with roll out shelves and quartz countertops for less than $20K. We had quotes for custom cabinetry around $40K but didn’t see how we were going to get double the pleasure/utility out of the custom.

I used to work in the kitchen showroom of a design center that had locations throughout the country. My job was to sell the idea of doing the project to potential customers and answer all the questions to help them decide whether they wanted to hire our firm to do the project. I would do square foot takeoffs if they brought in their measurements and selected a cabinet company from our choices. We also sold appliances, countertops, tiles, lighting, sinks, cabinet hardware and flooring at our location. The whole package. We also handled local permits for you. We also offered full installation or the customer could use his own contractor and then we would just order the products.

Our statistics indicated that an average kitchen in the US ran about $45,000. That proved true in our location but since we were located in a high-end area we did have several kitchens per year that reached $100,000+. It, of course, depends on square footage of the room, the level of cabinetry selected (KraftMaid was considered our entry level company and we also offered high-end cabinets where custom crafted cabinets out of specialty woods could be ordered and they would easily double the price of our entry level cabinets), which appliances you select, etc. Granite countertops, for instance, ran from $49 per sq. ft. to over $100 per sq. ft. depending on the rarity of the stone selected and the edge choice and how many penetrations in the top for sinks, etc. Engineered stone (quartz) was similar in price.

In you need structural changes to your plan (removing a load bearing wall or column, for instance), it becomes a more complex design issue than if you were just replacing item for item. You need an architect in that case to prepare the plans. Also there are issues that arise once you begin demolition that were not apparent until walls, old cabinets, etc. were removed, depending on the age of the home. There could be water damage, for instance.

There is also the matter of local codes. Sometimes demolishing a room can mean that you now have to replace all of the electrical or plumbing to meet code which you wouldn’t have had to do if you just left it all alone.

All of this is just a simple explanation of why estimates are just that–estimates–and you may not know the final cost until the contractor gets going.

Our sales pitch was that you would re-coup your investment when you sold your property but the truth is you cannot count on the full price. The value of your home is based, in part, on the neighborhood where it is located. If all the surrounding homes are worth, for example, $200,000, installing a $100,000 won’t bring you $300,000.

Hope this helps in your planning. :slight_smile:

It depends on what you choose for cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances.

It also depends on the size of your kitchen.

Note, too, that because of the housing crunch, remodelers have more business than they can handle, and that drives prices up.

I strongly recommend you sign up for Angie’s List (if you haven’t already) and compare and contrast the “going rates” in your area.

Hmm. We’ve just renovated our kitchen, including filling in two doors, new floor, new drywall, new ceiling, new cabinets and sink–but the same appliances–for about $10K. Of course, we did all of the demo work ourselves, and we got IKEA kitchen cabinets. Our finishes weren’t exactly high end either–Staron counters, composite rather than wood cabinet fronts, commercial vinyl tile floor.

As has been said before, it’s all about finishes. We paid other people about $6K in labor, the rest is materials.

Question: does Angie’s List cover Canada? I looked on their website and I couldn’t tell.

Refacing cabinets can be done much more cheaply than replacing them, albeit probably with a somewhat lower range of quality.

When did this mania for high-end kitchens with luxury finishes etc. begin?

I ask, because I own an older house, built in the 1930s, and it is obvious that the kitchen area was never intended to be anything but starkly utilitarian (and small). The luxuries were more to be found in the wood-panelled dining room.

There’s probably a feminist critique in there somewhere, about kitchen quality being low when it was considered “a woman’s place” and improving now that men are expected to spend time there too. But I’m just speculating.

We did the kitchen in our old place: down to the studs, new wiring, rock, backsplash, cherry cab fronts, staron counters, some structural changes, lighting, outlets, vinyl, sink, fixtures, disposal, and Jenn-Air grill for about $25K. The cost was mitigated somewhat because it was a small kitchen.

Your payback for this investment is going to probably diminish the more you spend. It was a big selling point for our place, so the payoff was easily 100% or more on the investment. Without knowing what you are specifying for upgrades, it’s impossible to tell if your quotes are too high. If you’re putting in 3/4" granite countertops (a mistake, in my opinion, as are tile floors and full hardwood cabs), then your costs are going to be high, and the payback may not be there.

I would suggest that you go to a local kitchen designer/retailer and talk to someone who understands your budget. They can recommend products that won’t bust the bank and that will look terrific.

My wife got a new kitchen 15 years ago. House is two stories.

Old kitchen did not even have room for one person to work.

Removed the lower half of one outside wall. Added an area 24ft X 10ft. Contractor poored floor and foundation. Put in suports for the second floor. Framed the new area. I put up the shear wall, contractor did the stucco. And I had some help with mounting the new cabinets. Contractor did all the downstairs in pergo.

I did all the electrical, plumming, and gas lines. She got tile counter tops, double electric ovens, 5 burner gas cook top, double sinks, 5X 7 foot island, new cabinets with ceader doors, and a pantry.

Total cost $65,000. Will we get the cost back, I doubt it. But we love the kitchen. It has made our house a great grandma’s and grandpa’s house. And with the way the kitchen is the house is great for enertaining.

Your questions are. How long are you going to live in your house? Can you do any of the work yourself? Do you really like the designs that are being presented. If you remove the column is it going to make a big enough improvement to be worth the expence.

Something to consider – don’t overimprove for your neighborhood. If you’re in a planned community, for instance, and everyone around you has composite counters, ceramic floors and standard white appliances, you’re not going to get a full ROI if you go for high end granite, marble and top line stainless. Same if you’re in a community of older homes where butcher block counters are a step up from the norm.

My husbands uncle installs kitchens for a living. He was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Ikea kitchen we selected. Most other kitchen brands look down on Ikea a a price breaker brand that shouldnt have a high quality. But he said it was just as good, if not better, then more upscale brands. Two years later, he got an Ikea kitchen himself.

We got ours done two years ago. The kitchen itself at ikea, including appliances (diswasher, freezer, fridge, sink, faucet, burners, railing) was 4500 euros (about the same in USD)
Labour was 4500 euro’s, for
*breaking out the old kitchen,
*redoing the plumbing and wiring,
*new drywall and tiles,
*new paint on the ceiling (and what a difference THAT made!).
*installing natural stone lining and a stonewindow sill.

We didn’t do anything ourself but make coffee for the workers and assemble a few cabinets.

Here’s the finished end result. . Here another pic.

I wouldn’t take the word on value returns, when the person doing the talking has the aim of selling an high end kitchen. Also, I think granite countertops are on the way back. Everyone has them now, and they’re not even that practical.

Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO.

Of course, as usual, the OP never came back to see the responses he/she solicited. :wink:

Last year I done with my kitchen renovation. I approximately spend $30K over a complete kitchen room renovation. I renovate my kitchen cabinets, paint and kitchen flooring. Also, paint kitchen wall. It was a great experience for me indeed. This values keeps me to revolve my mind and I was thinking it was somewhat costly. But, after comparing with other contractor prices and their work I feel well I did a good job.

We looked at a lot of stuff and without getting ridiculous (Bulthaup, Poggenpohl, etc.) Ikea was just as good as anything from the ‘mainstream’ kitchen companies. In fact they were much better because they did nearly everything in a big selection of heights and widths which made fitting it all together into a small space hugely easier and gave us a much better solution.

We got their cabinets/drawers/sink/fridgefreezer/cooker/undercabinet lighting and whatnot (including a cheapo temporary worktop), bought a nice mixer tap and induction hob ourselves, and had it all fitted by Ikea’s subcontranted installers who did a great job.
Then we got a Corian worktop and some custom-coloured glass splashbacks from a firm we found on the internet and had them fitted - looked awesome.

But damn - $30-$40K is a LOT of money.